Pear Hazelnut & Blue Cheese Salad on white platter with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette in a wooden dressing bowl on the side
Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Salads – Because Not Everything Can Have Butter

I adore butter. Come November I have about five pounds stocked in the fridge, ready to be put to use for the big day. It makes mashed potatoes creamy, gravy velvety, turkey skin crispy and brown, cornbread moist, and pie crusts flakey. But, alas, there can be too much of a good thing.

My rule is that at least one dish on our Thanksgiving table should provide a respite from the richness of the rest of the meal. A light, green salad is a must. Here are four crisp, green salads that fit the bill, can be prepped ahead, and will check the fall harvest-themed box:

Honeycrisp Apple Pecan Salad

This simple salad is one of my favorites throughout all of fall and winter. If you are preparing it ahead of time, leave the apple aside. Cut it just before serving the salad so it stays fresh, without turning brown. The crisp crunch of the apple with the sweet pecans, salty cheese, and earthy chickpeas is a combination you’ll fall for instantly.
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All Green Salad with Cranberries and Honey Sherry Vinaigrette

This symphony of green – cucumber, snap peas, avocado, cilantro and pumpkin seeds nestled in green leaf lettuce – gets a pop of color and sweet tartness from dried cranberries. The vinaigrette, made with sherry vinegar and honey, is seasoned with coriander seeds and a pinch of cumin. It flavors all of the fresh green vegetables spectacularly.
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Pear, Hazelnut & Blue Cheese Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Pear, hazelnuts and blue cheese are a classic combination, but this salad gets a bright and unexpected hit of flavor from the vinaigrette. Adding lime juice to the balsamic and a touch of maple syrup enhances the ingredients to something new and bold, and entirely delicious.
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Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pomegranate Seeds & Smoked Almonds

Make sure to budget in time to cook the brussels sprouts and allow them to cool completely before assembling the salad. The rich, roasted flavor of the brussels sprouts along with the sweet crunch of the pomegranate seeds is divine. Smoked almonds add an extra texture and deepen the flavor of the dish, but it’s kept in check by a vibrant orange and garlic spiked vinaigrette. If you're a feta lover, try crumbling a little over the salad. It's optional, but adds a nice creaminess.
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